"Every month more than 90 percent of American children between the ages of 3 and 9 visit a McDonald's. "
- Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation
This week, The Weekly Beet opens the box of a chemically engineered meal targeted at the tastebuds of kids. Mary Kent goes back in time to relive a fast food moment, but end up with an unhappy meal truth: fast food is destroying the health of our children.
With fast food restaurants having gone global, the World Health Organization has finally admitted that there is an obesityepidemic among children. Will the World Health Organization put a stop to the future of a Super Sized, Fast Food Planet? Let's hope so! Currently, at least 155 million school age children worldwide are overweight or obese. America, where the epidemic originated, has become a Super Sized, Fast Food Nation, where one-third of its children aged 4 to 19 are presently eating fast food on a daily basis. Is a global mcmarketing plan perhaps one of the reasons that children worldwide are so fat? We say, "Duh!"
With playgrounds, balloons, games, cartoons, not to mention free toys, Ronnie McDonald really has us tricked. With $2 billion spent on advertising per year, it's no wonder that a cartooned, cardboard box filled with cookies and the latest toys has become a happy container masking food filled with chemicals and "natural" flavorings. Ever wondered why fast food smells and tastes so good? It’s because when fast food companies freeze their fries, they have no where to go except flavor shopping. By freezing, canning, dehydrating, and freeze/drying, food loses its natural taste, forcing fast food companies to consult with scientists who specialize in the chemically flavoring and fragrancing of food. Fast Food Nation tells us “the fast-food chains, understandably, would like the public to believe that the flavors of the food they sell somehow originate in their restaurant kitchens, not in distant factories run by other firms. A McDonald's french fry is one of countless foods whose flavor is just a component in a complex manufacturing process.” Once again another genius magic trick!
Although they chemically enhance the taste, fast food companies have not yet found the way to chemically master nutritious food. Here's what we found in our Happy Box that made us super unhappy:
- Soft Drink. Filled with caffeine and the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. Causes hyperactivity in children and can lead to Type 2 Diabetes, weight gain, tooth decay, and calcium deficiencies.
- Small French Fry. Contains 210 calories and 10 grams of fat. Contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil and natural flavorings (the secret of McDonald's chemicaled fries). Leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and weight gain.
- Cheeseburger. Contains 330 calories and 14g of fat of highly processed beef. Leads to weight gain and high cholesterol.
- 4 Chicken Pieces. Contains 190 calories and 11 fat grams. Leads to weight gain. Possible E.Coli encounter.
- Toy. Made of plastic. Attempts to make children happy by alleviating how awful they feel during and after eating.
Remember that happiness never comes in a cardboard box! The next time you see a fast food restaurant, drive by NOT thru! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week, as we bring you a truly happy meal.
PS. Check out Jan Stephenson and Amy Appleyard, Founders of Spark Craft Studios, on Ladies Who Launch.